The grand finale of Obhartay Sitaray (budding stars) 2019 was held on Saturday in Karachi which was a treat for the ears, as young, soulful voices echoed through the hall of Marriot Hotel.
The Citizens Foundation (TCF) held the singing competition for which over 80,000 households from 150 schools across Karachi were approached. Around 206 teams comprising 862 students competed in the singing rounds. The winners got the trophies, sponsored by TCF’s donors.
As many as 1,500 students participated in the competition, according to a TCF founder member of the volunteer group and former director on the TCF board, Bushra Afzal. Out of these 100 students made it to the final. “There were elimination rounds for five days,” she said and added that top teams were selected and on Saturday they could see the cream of singers.
Obhartay Sitaray is an annual inter-school singing competition that provides students with a platform to prove their singing talent as well as raise funds for the education of TCF’s less-privileged students. The veteran musicians that graced the event on the judges’ panel were Tina Sani, Salman Alvi, Mehmood Ali, Shahid Hamid, Afshan, SB John, Talat Hashmi, Shai and Shireen.
The purpose of founding the TCF, according to Afzal, was to enroll children from impoverished areas in schools so that they could serve the country.
“We went to the areas deprived of schools,” she said and added that they selected those areas where children could make their ways to their school by walk.
She said that their objective had always been to teach boys and girls and currently they had more than 1,500 schools in the country in which more than 0.25 million children were enrolled.
More than 30,000 students of The Citizen Foundation, she said, had passed out from their school and were leading a successful professional life.
About Obhartay Sitaray, she said that their motive was to inculcate the habit of helping others through songs.
“Through songs these children come to our program and promote TCF,” she said and added that they wanted to take this program to Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar but were facing a dearth of volunteers.
Through these competitions, according to TCF’s director, Nilofer Saeed, children are encouraged and they are taught how they can move forward with their good voices.
Businessman and social activist Amin Hashwani said that the main purpose of such events was to promote music in schools.
“We want such budding talent to come forward,” he said and added such events helped students enhance their confidence.
When students win prices, he said, it inculcates in them a sense of giving and they realise that with music they can pay back to the society.
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